Football Fall Camp Report - The Defensive Line
Aug. 25, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. -
With the season less than a week away, it's time to move our attention from the 2012 Fordham University football offense to the defense with a preview of the defensive line.
Despite ranking third in the league in pass defense in 2011, allowing 211.4 yards/game, the Rams closed out the year last in overall defense. If the Rams are to be successful in 2012, the defense will lead the way, specifically the defensive line.
The 2012 Fordham defense will be led by a new coordinator, David Blackwell, who has plenty of experience in rebuilding. Most recently, he directed a South Florida defense in 2009 that ranked 24th in the country in total defense and tied for 19th in scoring defense. That Bulls squad finished the season at 8-5 and defeated Northern Illinois in the 2010 International Bowl.
The defensive line will set the tone for the Rams this fall and will be led by returning starters Patrick McGee, one of seven 2012 team captains, and DeAndre Slate. The line will also be bolstered by the play of Nick Womack and Brett Biestek, who will play at bandit, a position that combines the skills of an outside linebacker with those of a down lineman.
McGee, a redshirt senior defensive lineman who capped the spring season by making four tackles, including one sack, in the 2012 Spring Game, appeared in all eleven games, starting ten at defensive tackle in 2011. He finished the season with 20 total tackles, 13 solo, including two for loss and one sack and also forced a fumble, blocked a kick and recorded a safety. McGee made four tackles including 0.5 for loss, at Penn and recorded three solo stops, including one sack, in the season finale with Holy Cross. He also made three tackles, two solo, at Colgate, and blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a safety against Lehigh.
For his Fordham career, McGee has 35 total tackles, 21 solo, including six for loss and 3.4 sacks.
Slate, sophomore, is coming off a solid freshman campaign where helped fill eth void of Justin Yancey, who was lost after the first game of the year to injury. Slate appeared in all eleven games as a freshman, starting one, and made 23 total tackles, 14 solo. He notched 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks as well as one pass break up, Slate made a season-high seven tackles, including three solo and one for loss, at Lafayette and recorded three tackles, including two solo and 1.5 sacks, against Bucknell.
The defensive line will be buoyed by the return of Yancey from his 2011 injury. Yancey, who was named to the College Football Preview Preseason All-Patriot League team, appeared in all eleven games as a freshman for the Rams in 2010, starting eight at nose guard. He led all freshmen and all defensive linemen with 41 total tackles, 28 solo, including a team-high 10.5 for loss. Yancey tied for third in the Patriot League in tackles for loss/game (0.95) and tied for 13th in sacks/game (0.27). He also had three sacks, second best on the squad, one interception and one blocked kick. Yancey closed out season with a season-high six tackles, including two solo and one for loss, against Colgate, and he had five stops, including four solo and one sack, in the win at Bucknell.
Tenuta, a junior who is lasted to start at defensive end, moves over from tight end to the defensive line this fall. He did not see varsity action last year.
Sconiers, a senior, appeared in six games as a junior, starting the last four games at defensive end, He registered eleven total tackles, three solo on the year, making four total tackles, three solo, in the win over Columbia. He also registered four assisted tackles at Georgetown.
Pesanello, a junior, saw action in all eleven games as a sophomore at outside linebacker, finishing the season with eleven total tackles, including four solo and 0.5 for loss. He also had one quarterback hurry. Pesanello made three stops, including one solo and 0.5 for loss, against Bucknell and had a pair of stops and a quarterback hurry at Lafayette.
Bryant, a transfer from Penn State where he didn't see action last fall, is a graduate of Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia, where he lettered in football for three years. He helped the team to three-year record of 23-11 with state playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009. As a senior, Bryant registered 60 tackles, four tackles for loss, six QB pressures, two pass breakups and one quarterback sack.
Hunter, a graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School in Natchez, Mississippi, where he was a member of the football squad and a three-time All-District and three-time All-Metro selection. He was named 2011 All-Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) as well as to the 2011 M.A.I.S Dandy Dozen and earned OL/DL MVP honors.
Stevens, a graduate of Piscataway High School in Piscataway, New Jersey, was a Third Team All-State selection in 2011. He was also a First Team All-Group 4 and First Team All-Middlesex County pick and served as a team captain, Stevens recorded 62 total tackles, 25 solo, including three sacks, as a senior and also had three fumble recoveries.
George, a 6'8", 308-pound graduate student, joins the Rams from London, where he played club football. He is originally from Nigeria where he graduated from Home Science Secondary School where he was class valedictorian.